Caddie Kessler Karain will sit out Presidents Cup singles following altercation with fan
It’s been a rough Presidents Cup week at Royal Melbourne for 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed.
Following a 5&3 loss in the morning fourball session with Webb Simpson on Saturday to drop to 0-3-0 for the week, Reed’s caddie — brother-in-law Kessler Karain — was involved in an altercation with a fan.
As a result of the altercation, the PGA Tour announced following Saturday’s afternoon session, in which Reed did not play, that, “Karain will not return to caddie for Sunday’s final-round singles matches.”
Reed issued this statement at the same time: “I respect the Tour’s decision. We are all focused on winning the Presidents Cup tomorrow.”
The Americans rallied Saturday afternoon and will enter the singles session trailing by just two points at 10-8.
So what exactly happened?
Reed was a controversial captain’s pick by Woods to begin with, but given his past successes in team events, he was difficult for captain Tiger Woods to overlook.
And then the third round of the Hero World Challenge happened just over a week ago.
That’s where Reed was assessed a two-stroke penalty for improving his lie in a waste area by moving sand behind his golf ball with his club.
Reed insisted it wasn’t his intention to move any sand and improve the lie, but slo-mo, zoomed in video looked damning and “intent” — as is the case with many rulings in golf — didn’t factor into this one.
A closer look at Patrick Reed’s two-stroke penalty during Round 3 of the Hero World Challenge. pic.twitter.com/z2aqkajnYq
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) December 7, 2019
The video didn’t sit well with many of Reed’s peers and the golf world knew he’d hear it from fans at Royal Melbourne once the U.S. team arrived in Australia for the Presidents Cup. Members of the International team — most notably Cameron Smith — were vocal about Reed’s situation, with Smith going so far as to say, “I haven’t got any sympathy for someone who cheats. I hope the crowd absolutely gives it to not only him, but everyone (on the American team) next week.”
As with any of these team events, the home crowd is always looking to get under the skin of the visiting team’s players — it happens everywhere. We’ve seen it in the U.S. at Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups, as well as in European Ryder Cups. Reed just seemed like an easy target this week and his antics in Friday’s foursomes session certainly didn’t help his cause.
Reed heard this from a fan on Thursday:
— BD (@B_Den1) December 11, 2019
And on Friday, this is how Reed responded after converting a birdie putt:
Patrick Reed pretends to dig with a shovel… pic.twitter.com/rLw2smEZfA
— Fantasy Golf Pod (@fantasygolfpod) December 13, 2019
Then the altercation happened between Karain and a spectator after the Saturday morning session, first reported by Golf Channel’s Steve Sands as the afternoon session was teeing off.
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) December 14, 2019
As Sands reported, “[Reed] was really hearing it from the fans, and it got a little out of control there.”
Karain explained his side of the story to the Barstool Sports ForePlay podcast through a note that was tweeted out…
Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis reported that Reed’s swing coach — Kevin Kirk — will be on the bag for Reed during Sunday’s singles.